Coronavirus Changing Funerals and How People Mourn

Posted at 6:10 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 09:01:22-04

The coronavirus impacting every aspect of our lives, including how we say goodbye to loved ones. Funeral Homes are also adapting to the new normal, finding ways to help families grieve during the COVID crisis.

“Very independent woman, a woman I always said was way ahead of her time,” said Maximo Fajardo, lost 91-year-old mother.

Maximo lost his 91-year-old mother on June 12th, who suffered from dementia. She died in her sleep at an assisted living facility.

“I would assume it was a heart attack because up until then she was doing well,” said Fajardo.

He says COVID restrictions have made it difficult to mourn. The funeral home allowing only 25 people at time for the service and the cemetery, only 10.

“There were people that couldn’t be there, not only because they were afraid of COVID but because of the limitations,” said Fajardo.

The limitations dampened the level of intimacy between family members.

“You can’t shutdown the business like other businesses can. So you really have to figure out a way to still function and be able to be open and do what we do, which is to provide for families that are in mourning for people who have lost loved ones,” said Revitz.

Genna Revitz is the spokesperson for Vista Memorial Gardens, a family owned and operated cemetery in Miami Lakes.

She says their weekly services have increased by 30% since the pandemic started, not all COVID related-deaths, but to insure everyone’s safety they’re limiting services and visitations.

“We normally have eight to ten on a weekday, we’re limiting it to five services per day during the week.” On Saturdays where we would normally have 14-15, we now have seven,” said Revitz.

To help serve their clients, Genna says they’re providing live streaming services so family members and close friends can virtually attend the service.

“We want them to feel secure and safe. We want them to know that we’re taking these measures to ease them during this time, and I think they feel that,” added Revitz.

Every funeral home has different protocols. Maximo says he was lucky to be able to celebrate his mom’s life during this difficult time.

“I’ve had friends pass away some from other things, not COVID-related, and I haven’t been able to go to a service. Their family can’t hold a service and will hold it in the future. I’m happy I was able to have a service for her and a burial,” said Fajardo.

So here’s the rebound rundown:

  • If you lost a loved one and want to attend the service, check to see how many people are allowed to go - every funeral home has different protocols.
  • If you physically attend, always wear a mask or face covering to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • If you can’t physically attend, ask if you can attend via a streaming service.